“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
Seventy-five year old Abram. And lovely Sarai.
Right smack dab in the middle of a predictable, constant life.
Surrounded by family. Familiarity. The security of knowing.
Called to move.
“…to a land I will show you.”
I try to picture the hub-bub created by Abram’s active obedience to this interesting directive.
Packing up their tents and herding animals and loading camels---destination unknown.
They must have been questioned about their journey? Where were they heading?
What exactly was the plan?
How long would it take to get...Where?
The servants would be curious. The community would be interested. The family would need to know where to forward the mail.
I picture Abram overseeing the massive migration that was his household, fielding the questions and wondering himself.
Did he answer, “God knows.”
Or simply, “I don’t know.”
Or perhaps the spiritually astute, “God will provide.”
Responses that could all most simply be boiled down to, “No clue.”
I wonder how his lack of knowledge was received?
Abram was commanded to 'not know'. But obey.
On more than one very difficult occasion.
Desert travel. Barrenness. Attempted murder.
Many years filled with long seconds and minutes and days of not knowing.
This is resonating with me right now.
A recent season of planning and decision making has been thwarted and delayed and remains undecided, leaving me to answer when asked about our plans,
And “I don’t know.”
And “God will provide.”
It is easier for me to ponder and esteem this type of faith in the setting of a distant desert among tents I’m neither packing nor setting up. Camels I am not smelling.
To keep that kind of not knowing but believing obedience somewhere far away from my ‘need to know’ existence.
When this lack of knowledge settles in my living space and gallops across my daytimer, I become a tad bit grumpy.
With a smidge of pout.
Is my knowing a right? A necessity?
I need to more carefully distinguish the difference.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.”
I must remember who I am.
“And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
And who my God is.
“Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
Believing my Father, who knows me and mine so very well, has a definitive plan.
My not knowing is allowing me to exercise a very particular faith muscle.
Building strength where fitness had waned.
Developing brawn I might need in the very near future.
To load the camels.
(scripture references in italics from Hebrews 11: 8,13,16b and Genesis 12:1b)